Proverbs 15: Words

Today was hard for me to focus. There were verses I read multiple times because it was as if my brain wasn’t registering what I was reading. Has that ever happened to you?

As soon as I sat down I could feel it. I wasn’t thinking about anything, but felt like I was thinking about everything at the same time. So, I turned on soaking music on my spotify app and just sat for a moment to allow myself to settle down. I’m not sure why i need to “settle” down considering this is the first thing I do when I wake up. There’s nothing in particular on my mind, but my mind feels like it’s racing.

I have to say that starting off chapter 15 was like a slap in the face. Over the last 4ish years, it’s very rare that I get angry. There are situations that occur, and serious ones, that I’m sure some would say getting angry is justifiable, but I just don’t. I may be sad, frustrated, and at times inconvenienced, but the Holy Spirit has really helped me to be patient, use discretion, and have self-control. My husband hears and sees a lot more than many because well, he’s my best friend. I’m open and honest with him without fear of judgement. Sometimes he just listens knowing I need to vent and other times he gives me counsel.

I do not have a quick temper. I don’t know if it’s considered the opposite, but I actually tend to hold things in. Over the last 4-5 years I’ve made an intentional effort of being more open and not allow things to fester to prevent it from blowing up. I still do hold things in at times though. I don’t realize that’s what I’m doing in the moment. I would say I’m using discretion, being patient, and trying my best to love as He loves.

When the pressure is too much and it explodes, I don’t always say things I should say. It’s like the thoughts that have been stored while being discreet get squeezed out, which isn’t a bad thing, but the tone of voice I use is the problem. By that point I’m so frustrated that I’m angry. I did everything I could to prevent “this moment” from happening, but here we are – exactly where I don’t want to be.

I could say I was put in that position, but the person who put me there is me. In my attempt to love, have wisdom, be patient, and gentle towards others, I forgot about myself. I was using my own wisdom and allowing behaviors that I should not have allowed.

Even though it’s rare, I noticed a common theme when the pressure gets too much and I explode. Disrespect. After living in a household where I experienced disrespect for 12+ years, I do not handle it very well after a while.

Living a lifestyle where I try to live my life loving as Jesus loves, it’s expected to find individuals who are attracted by it, but also take advantage of it. I can’t live myself worried about that though. I love everyone, whether you take advantage or not, but what that love looks like a different from person to person. When we look at the life of Jesus we can see that He didn’t treat everyone the same. He did have those who were closer to Him, even amongst His 12. He also spoke to disciples differently. But, that’s a lesson for another day.

What I need to do is set boundaries and when they are cross or pushed, I need to stick to the boundary that was set. That will help prevent me turning into a pressure cooker that explodes. While to some it’s easy – like for my husband. For me, it’s hard. While I’m no longer a people pleaser, I do want to love people and see them living in abundance. I am the kind of person that gets excited when I see someone excelling and growing. It makes my heart happy to see others happy. In that desire though, sometimes I take it too far and allow others to trample of my peace of mind for the sake of their happiness. While I don’t see anything wrong with that, actually I think it’s what we should do when we love as Jesus loves, there are limits.

Out of love, I’ve I have allowed certain people to go to far. While I didn’t really exercise wisdom, allowing people to push limits was done in love. Love is my goal. What that person does with my love, how they receive it, if they accept it, or if they appreciate it isn’t up to me. That’s up to them. Their value or lack of value of my love doesn’t dictate if I love, but it will dictate how I love. The verse about not tossing pearls before swine comes to mind.

I guess today’s devotional will be a little different because I’m sharing my observation and application before I’ve even shared the verse…remember, the one I said was a smack in the face.

There are those that would say “it’s about time you said something” and I agree that it was about time, but my issue is not that I said something, but it’s how I said the something. Know what I mean?

I expressed my frustration, in the moment, in anger, and did not calculate my words considering how my words would impact the person. There is a way to articulate frustration that doesn’t lead to careless words being spewed. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here condemning myself over it. It has been very few times over the last 3-4 years that I’ve “lost my cool” and it’s happening less and less, but I don’t ever want to explode. Nor do I want to express words that bring death – ever.

Listen, I know that I’m sharing about myself here, but I think this is something that many struggle with. Especially those who have tendencies to be people pleasers. We cannot allow ourselves to bottle things up, placing other people’s happiness above ours. All of our happiness is important, including ours. It is our choice, however, if we allow someone to impact our happiness in a negative way. I’ve read Danny Silk’s book, Keep Your Love On, now 3 times and each time I’ve learned new things. I also read his book, Unpunishable. 2 books that I highly recommend. Not only is there great teaching on how to love as He loves, but there is practical advise that brings the teaching to live and makes it livable and doable.

So, before I end this post, let me share the verse of the day.

Respond gently when you are confronted and you’ll defuse the rage of another. Responding with sharp, cutting words will only make it worse. Don’t you know that being angry can ruin the testimony of even the wises of men?

Proverbs 15:1

That verse in NASB reads:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

TPT elaborate that verse and today, for me, it was needed. It brought this verse to life for me in a way that pierced me. I desperately need wisdom. The more time passes, the more I realize and can see why Proverbs said that being on the path of wisdom will allow us to reign in life. It really is something we should be seeking and praying for on a daily basis. Living life in abundance is only possible with wisdom.

So, my prayer this morning is that the Holy Spirit hear our cry for more wisdom. May He show us what wisdom looks like and may He make her voice so abundantly clear that we can’t miss it. May the Holy Spirit lead us in the better and best way. We may think we are doing it right because we are doing our best to live a life that pleases Him, but He is the only one capable of seeing if there is something that needs to be adjusted. Holy Spirit, we are completely dependent on you. We need you in our lives. We love you and we desire to hear your voice and follow your guidance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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